equalities Health and Safety News

Be on the safe side

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shown the important role Health & Safety Representatives have in the workplace. During the 15 weeks of lock-down our branch has led the way in highlighting the potential risks to our members, families, colleagues and service users.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our front-line staff, those with underlying health conditions or categorised as “High Risk” have been a priority. Our team have been pro-actively working on alternative working arrangements including social distancing, reducing staff numbers in workplaces, risk assessments and the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Face Coverings have now been procured and are being distributed to colleagues this week following constructive dialogue with senior management colleagues.

In addition, we have successfully campaigned the Scottish Parliament to recognise the increased risk of infection for our Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues.

Many of us will remain working from home for the foreseeable future, that in itself has issues but with council buildings, including schools now opening there will be additional health, safety and wellbeing concerns, which will need to be addressed.

Our thanks to those members who have recently decided to become Health & Safety Representative or workplace contacts, but we need more. Does your department or workplace have a Health & Safety representative, are you or a colleague interested in joining our team. If so please contact our office on 0131 558 7488 or e-mail: branchoffice@unison-edinburgh.org.uk
Please also note that UNISON’s new web campaign to recruit more safety reps was launched today https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2020/06/unison-sets-recruit-safety-reps-amid-covid-crisis/.